Lore is a bi-weekly podcast (as well as a TV show and book series) about dark historical tales. Each episode explores the mysterious creatures, tragic events, and unusual places that fill the pages of history. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.
Some of the most frightening kinds of folklore are the ones with a familiar element. Details that sit a bit too close to home. Qualities that resonate just a bit too much. And few places host legends more terrifying than the wilderness around us.
In 1582, the German town of Bedburg was ravaged by a violent and mysterious creature. After untold bloodshed, the townsfolk took up arms and hunted the monster down. What they found was something out of our deepest nightmares, and entirely too close to home.
We’ve all been told to beware things that seem too good to be true, and for good reason. But beyond the world of hucksters and frauds, one special group of people fooled an entire culture, at the cost of hundreds of lives.
Hope is a powerful emotion, and it has driven humans to do great things over the centuries. It’s also a key element of folklore, but the stories it gives rise to there are more than just inspiring—some of them can also be terrifying.
Death is one of life’s certainties, and the final chapter in each of our stories. And yet throughout history, there have been reports of those who have broken the rules—and the brave few who rose to the challenge to stop them.
For thousands of years, humans have used a tool of violence to control their enemies, advance their careers, and remove their problems. And the only thing more frightening than the tool itself are the stories about the people who use it.
Some places seem to straddle the boundary between one world and another. It’s a feature than can often generate charm and beauty, but sometimes it creates darker things, as the history of these historic islands demonstrates so well.
It should come as no surprise that one of humanity’s greatest qualities is also the tool with which it has committed much darker tragedies. Even far from the wilds of the Old World, that legacy was never far behind.